Archive for November, 2011

Google Leaves Heliostat Research Behind

Photo by mikebaird. Some rights reserved.

As a part of a larger effort to shut down “a number of products which haven’t had the impact we’d hoped for,” Google unceremoniously pulled the plug on RE<c (Renewable Energy Cheaper Than Coal), a project conceived in 2007 to (well, look at the name) reduce coal emissions by finding ways to make renewable energy cheaper and more available. Google has long been vocal about its support for alternative energy and, from a purely observational standpoint, projects itself as a very forward thinking company. The New York Times ran a lengthy and worthwhile interview with Google “Green Energy Czar” Bill Weihl last year, in which Weihl makes clear that Google’s CEOs have a vested interest in green energy from a purely philanthropic standpoint:

“We’d be delighted if some of this stuff actually made money, obviously; it is not our goal to make money.”

Sounds familiar! What also becomes clear from the interview is the Google has its fingers in a number of eco-friendly pies (excuse the clumsy metaphor), including enhanced geothermal and high altitude wind research. But the work with solar research company BrightSource mentioned in the interview, including the engineering of “power tower platforms where a field of swiveling mirrors reflects sunlight toward a central tower with a receiver” at the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System is being dropped as a part of Google’s “spring cleaning.” (Incidentally, if you’re interested in what Google was up to with these “swiveling mirrors,” or heliostats, before it pulled its researchers from the project, there’s a short explanatory video here, and Google published its results here).

As it is explained in Google’s press release, “at this point, other institutions are better positioned than Google to take this research to the next level,” and as the New York Times reports, Google still has $168 million invested in the project, while its largest investor, energy company NRG, is still committed to $300 million.

Last Week In Environmental Impact Statements: New and Replaced Snowmaking Infrastructure

While Federal agencies are required to prepare Environmental Impact Statements in accordance with 40 CFR Part 1502, and to file the EISs with the EPA as specified in 40 CFR 1506.9, the EPA doesn’t yet provide a central repository for filing and viewing EISs electronically. Instead, each week they prepare a digest of the preceding week’s filed EISs, which is published every Friday in the Federal Register under the title, “Notice of Availability” (NOA).

We’ve done the dirty work for you. Below, we’ve located and linked to the EISs referenced in last week’s NOA. Please note that some of these documents can be very large, and may take a while to load.

You can read any available EPA comments on these EISs here.

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EIS No. 20110393, Draft EIS, BLM, 00, Baker Field Office Resource Management Plan, Implementation, Baker, Union, Wallowa, Malheur, Morrow and Umatilla Counties, OR and Asotin County, WA, Comment Period Ends: 02/22/2012, Contact: Marc Pierce (541) 523–1256.

EIS No. 20110394, Draft EIS, NPS, 00, Appalachian National Scenic Trail, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Middle Delaware National Scenic and Recreational River, Proposal Susquehanna to Roseland 500kV Transmission Line Right-of-Way and Special-Use-Permit, NJ and PA, Comment Period Ends: 01/23/2012, Contact: Morgan Elmer (303) 969–2317.

EIS No. 20110395, Draft Supplement, FHWA, 00, Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Projects, New Circumstances, Cross-River Mobility Improvements between Jefferson County, KY and Clark County, IN, Coast Guard Bridge Permit, COE Section 10 and 404 Permits, Jefferson County, KY and Clark County, IN, Comment Period Ends: 01/09/2012, Contact: Janice Osadczuk (317) 226–7486.

EIS No. 20110396, Final EIS (and Appendices), NOAA, 00, Comprehensive Annual Catch Limit (ACL) Amendment for the South Atlantic Regions: Amendment 2 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Dolphin Wahoo Fishery; Amendment 2 to the Fishery Management Plan for Pelagic Sargassum Habitat; Amendment 5 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Golden Crab Fishery and Amendment 25 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper Grouper Fishery, South Atlantic Region, Review Period Ends: 12/27/2011, Contact: Roy E. Crabtree (727) 824–5305.

EIS No. 20110397, Draft EIS, USFS, CO, Beaver Creek Mountain Improvement Project, Improvement to Birds of Prey Racecourse, Widening and Grading the Addition of Women’s Downhill and Giant Slalom Racecourses, New and Replaced Snowmaking Infrastructure, Replacement of the Red Tail Camp Restaurant, White River National Forest, Eagle County, CO, Comment Period Ends: 01/09/2012, Contact: Scott Fitzwilliams (970) 945–3255.

EIS No. 20110398, Final EIS, FRBSF, WA, 1015 Second Avenue Property, Involving Disposition of the Property Either Through Transfer, Donations, or Sale, Downtown Seattle, WA, Review Period Ends: 12/27/2011, Contact: Robert Kellar (415) 974–2655.

EIS No. 20110399, Draft EIS, NHTSA, 00, Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards Passenger Car and Light Trucks Model Years 2017–2025, To Improve the Fuel Economy of and Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Model Year 2017–2025 Light-Duty Vehicles, Implementation, Comment Period Ends: 01/31/2012, Contact: Angel Jackson (202) 366–0154.

EIS No. 20110400, Draft EIS, BIA, NV, K Road Moapa Solar Generation Facility, Moapa Band of Paiutes (Tribe), to lease Land up to 50 Years on the Moapa River Indian Reservation for Constructing and Operating a 350MV PV Solar Generating Station and Associated Infrastructure, Clark County, NV, Comment Period Ends: 01/09/2012, Contact: Amy Heuslein (602) 379–6570.

EIS No. 20110401, Final EIS, STB, PA, R.J. Corman Railroad/Pennsylvania Lines Project, Construction, Operation, and Reactivation to Approximately 20 Miles of Railline in Clearfield and Centre Counties, PA, Review Period Ends: 12/27/2011, Contact: Danielle Gossolin (202) 245–0300.


Amended Notices

EIS No. 20110328, Draft EIS, NPS, CA, Drakes Bay Oyster Company (DBOC) Special Use Permit (SUP) for the Period of 10 Years for its Shellfish Operation, which Consists of Commercial Production, Harvesting, Processing, and Sale of Shellfish at Point Reyes National Seashore, CA, Comment Period Ends: 12/09/2011, Contact: Cicely Muldoon (415) 464–5101.

Revision to FR Notice 9/30/2011: Extending Comment Period from 11

Green Thanksgiving

Photo by Terry Robinson. Some rights reserved.

Here’s wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving from the Green Mien!

Lest you think we’d let you off easy, below are some articles from the World Wide Web on “How to Green Your Thanksgiving” (and maybe even some pop quizzes, too!):

Of course, most of the advice is applicable year-round, so why not let Thanksgiving be a kick-off for greener habits in general, and then when you sit down to eat, you can be thankful that we gave you such a nice heads-up.

So go forth and green up your thanksgiving travel, decorations, turkey (psych!), cooking, meal, and post-binge clean-up. (Thanks!)


Think you’re all set? Take a quiz!

How Green Is Your Thanksgiving Menu? from Mother Jones

Do You Give Green Thanks? from Planet Green

Romney Takes Two Steps Back on Climate Change

Photo by Gage Skidmore. Some rights reserved.

Politico reports that Republican Presidential hopeful (and current runner up to Newt Gingrich) Mitt Romney took another step towards reversing what once seemed to be a sound, moderate stance on climate change and global warming over the weekend at an event in Manchester, N.H., when he glibly stated:

“I know there is also a movement to say that carbon dioxide should be guided or should be managed by the Environmental Protection Agency. I disagree with that. I exhale carbon dioxide. I don’t want those guys following me around with a meter to see if I’m breathing too hard.”

This remark comes directly on the heels of other, less sarcastic remarks made by Romney on the subject. For instance, at a fundraiser in Pittsburgh in late October, Romney denounced the EPA’s cap-and-trade program, stating:

My view is that we don’t know what’s causing climate change on this planet. And the idea of spending trillions and trillions of dollars to try to reduce CO2 emissions is not the right course for us.

And yet, there was a time (not so long ago) when the former Governor of Massachusetts seemed to hold a very different position. As recently as this past June, Romney is on the record voicing his support for reducing greenhouse gases, saying:

I believe the world’s getting warmer. I can’t prove that, but I believe based on what I read that the world is getting warmer. And number two, I believe that humans contribute to that … And so I think it’s important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may well be significant contributors to the climate change and the global warming that you’re seeing.

And in his 2010 book, No Apology, Romney wrote that he believes “that climate change is occurring” and that “human activity is a contributing factor.” So why the change of heart? For anyone who’s paid any attention to the campaign process in America (regardless of political party), it’s probably not too hard to figure out. Republicans this year have been particularly critical of the EPA and its attempts to expand its power in terms of regulating greenhouse gas emissions (though, as Climate News points out, the increased presence of climate change as a topic in the Republican debates may have had a direct effect in raising the percentage of Americans who believe in global warming from 75% last year to 83% as of September of this year). The other Republican nominees, without exception, have taken, at the very least, critical positions towards the EPA.

Romney, through no small effort on the part of the GOP, has remained near the top of the polls while his opponents seem to rise and fall at a much quicker rate (Rick Perry’s now infamous debate slip-up coincidentally contained some hurried, flustered remarks on the EPA as well). It makes sense that, as his chances to seize the nomination increase, his instinct to pander to a more traditional Republican agenda would kick in. But reading the above quotes, its hard to justify just how polar the sets of remarks seem to be, and hard to say where Romney’s true beliefs lie at this point.

Water Disclosure

Photo by Davidpd. Some rights reserved.

Jenner & Block’s Corporate Environmental Lawyer Blog yesterday posted a bit about the results of the recently released 2011 Water Disclosure Report by the not-for-profit Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), which holds “the largest database of primary corporate climate change information in the world”. The blog post highlighted the following “key findings” from the process and the report:

  1. 190 companies or 60% of identified companies responded to the questionnaire – a 10% increase over last year.
  2. Over half (59%) of companies responding reported exposure to water-related risks such as flooding, scarcity and reputational damage.
  3. One third (38%) of companies already have experienced water-related business impacts, such as disruption to operations from severe weather events or water shortages.
  4. 63% of companies believe that water presents commercial opportunities and commonly identified opportunities relate to increased water efficiency, among others.
  5. 72% of companies understood the linkages or tradeoffs between water and carbon emissions.
  6. 41% of companies confirm that the biggest water risk facing their businesses is water stress or scarcity.

The findings were based on a questionnaire sent to 315 companies on the Global 500 Index identified as operating in the most water-stressed locations or industry sectors.

The report itself has a great breakdown of trends across the sectors, but if you are interested in seeing some real life examples of water-related risk disclosure from public companies, check out knowledgemosaic’s risk factor search page, which extracts risk-related disclosure from SEC filings.

In the past year alone, there have been more than 800 risk factors mentioning floods or flooding. For instance, NewLink Genetics reports:

“Our facilities are located in areas where floods and tornados are known to occur, and the occurrence of a flood, tornado or other catastrophic disaster could damage our facilities and equipment, which could cause us to curtail or cease operations.”

(click here to see an excel report of all flood-related risk factor search results)

Interestingly enough, in the same time period, there have been only 17 mentions of water stress, shortage or scarcity in the risk factors. One such risk factor – from Anheuser-Busch InBev S.A. – reads:

“We also face water scarcity risks. The availability of clean water is a limited resource in many parts of the world, facing unprecedented challenges from climate change and the resulting change in precipitation patterns and frequency of extreme weather, overexploitation, increasing pollution, and poor water management. As demand for water continues to increase around the world, and as water becomes scarcer and the quality of available water deteriorates, we may be affected by increasing production costs or capacity constraints, which could adversely affect our business and results of operations.”

(click here to see an excel report of risk factor search results mentioning water stress, shortage or scarcity)

Last Week In Environmental Impact Statements: Liquid Hydrocarbon and Non-Native Ungulates

Photo by . Some rights reserved.

While Federal agencies are required to prepare Environmental Impact Statements in accordance with 40 CFR Part 1502, and to file the EISs with the EPA as specified in 40 CFR 1506.9, the EPA doesn’t yet provide a central repository for filing and viewing EISs electronically. Instead, each week they prepare a digest of the preceding week’s filed EISs, which is published every Friday in the Federal Register under the title, “Notice of Availability” (NOA).

We’ve done the dirty work for you. Below, we’ve located and linked to the EISs referenced in last week’s NOA. Please note that some of these documents can be very large, and may take a while to load.

You can read any available EPA comments on these EISs here.

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EIS No. 20110383, Final EIS, USFS, OR, Marks Creek Allotment Management Plans, Proposes to Reauthorize Cattle Term Grazing Permits, Construct Range Improvements, and Restore Riparian Vegetation on three Allotments, Lookout Mountain Ranger District, Ochoco National Forest, Crook County, OR, Review Period Ends: 12/19/2011, Contact: Marcy Anderson (541) 416–6463.

EIS No. 20110384, Draft Supplement, FHWA, MN, Trunk Highway 60 between St. James to Windom to Implement Transportation System Improvement, Funding, Cottonwood and Watonwan Counties, MN, Comment Period Ends: 01/04/2012, Contact: Philip Forst (651) 291–6110.

EIS No. 20110385, Final EIS, FHWA, UT, Bangerter 600 West Project, Proposed Improvements to Address Projected Transportation Demand and Safety, Salt Lake County, UT, Review Period Ends: 12/19/2011, Contact: Bryan Dillon (801) 955–3517.

EIS No. 20110386, Draft Supplement (halfway down in the Analysis section), USFS, ID, Upper Lochsa Land Exchange Project, Updated Information on New Alternative F, Proposes to Exchange National Forest System Land for approximately 39,371 Acres of western Pacific Timber Land, Federal Land Exchange, Clearwater, Nez Perce and Idaho Panhandle National Forests, Clearwater, Latah, Idaho, Benewah, Kootenai and Bonner Counties, ID, Comment Period Ends: 01/17/2012, Contact: Teresa Trulock (208) 935–4256.

EIS No. 20110387, Draft EIS, USA, AK, Point Thomson Project, Authorization to Construct Industrial Infrastructure and Produce Liquid Hydrocarbon Resources, Implementation, AK, Comment Period Ends: 01/03/2012, Contact: Harry Batj 1–800–478–2712.

EIS No. 20110388, Final EIS (scroll down to Documents section), TVA, AL, Muscle Shoals Reservation Redevelopment, Disposal and Potential Redevelopment Approximately 1,400 Acres of its Muscle Shoals Reservation, Muscle Shoals, Colbert County, AL, Review Period Ends: 12/19/2011, Contact: Stanford E. Davis (865) 632–2915.

EIS No. 20110389, Draft EIS, BR, WA, PROGRAMMATIC—Yakima River Basin Integrated Water Resource Management Plan, To Meet the Water Supply and Ecosystem Restoration Needs, Benton, Kittitas, Klickitat and Yakim Counties, WA, Comment Period Ends: 01/03/2012, Contact: Jim Taylor (208) 378–5081.

EIS No. 20110390, Draft EIS, NPS, HI, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Project, Protecting and Restoring Native Ecosystems by Managing Non-Native Ungulates, Hawaii County, HI, Comment Period Ends: 01/17/2012, Contact: Rhonda Loh (808) 985–6098.

EIS No. 20110391, Draft EIS, BOP, KS, Leavenworth Federal Correctional Institution and Federal Prison Camp, Construction and Operation, KS, Comment Period Ends: 01/03/2012, Contact: Richard A. Cohn (202) 514–6470. (Can’t locate online – any reader tips?)

EIS No. 20110392, Final EIS (halfway down in the Analysis section), USFS, UT, Blacks Fork Salvage Project, Proposal to Treat Timber Harvest, Prescribe Fire, and Mechanical Thinning, Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Summit County, UT, Review Period Ends: 12/19/2011, Contact: Pam Jarnecke (801) 236–3441.

Amended Notices

EIS No. 20110369, Draft EIS, USACE, 00, City of Denison Land Conveyance, Lake Texoma, To Develop Recreational and Economic Needs, Grayson and Cooke Counties, TX and Portion of Bryan, Marshall, Johnston and Love Counties, OK, Comment Period Ends: 12/21/2011, Contact: Stephen L. Nolen. (918) 669–7660 Revision of FR Notice Published 11/04/2011: Correction to EIS Title—City of Denison.

EIS No. 20110380, Second Draft Supplement, NRC, TN, Related to the Operation of Watts Bar Nuclear Plant Units 2, New and Updated Information, Operating License, Rhea County, TN, Comment Period Ends: 12/27/2011, Contact: Justin Poole (301) 415–2048 Revision to FR Notice Published 11/10/2011: Correction to Comment Period from 01/24/2012 to 12/27/2011.

This Week in Environmental Disclosure: American Midstream Partners’ Underreported SO2 Emissions

As we’ve posted in the past, public companies must generally disclose environmental legal proceedings in various reports to the SEC, and whether or not those proceedings have a material effect on the company’s financial position. Companies may also disclose business risks related to current or pending environmental regulation.

Below is the juiciest stuff we could find that was filed with EDGAR this week.

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  • AGL RESOURCES INC | Form 8-K | 11/17/2011

Atlanta Gas Light Company (“AGLC”) is required to investigate possible environmental contamination at manufactured gas plants (“MGP”) and, if necessary, clean up any contamination. AGLC has been associated with ten MGP sites in Georgia and three in Florida. One new former MGP site has been recently identified adjacent to an existing MGP remediation site. Based on investigations to date, cleanup has either already occurred or is likely at most of these sites. As of June 30, 2010, the remediation program in Georgia was approximately 100% complete, except for a few remaining areas of recently discovered impact, although ground water remediation continues. Investigation is concluded for one phase of the Orlando, Florida site; however, the Environmental Protection Agency has not approved the clean up plans. For elements of the Georgia and Florida sites where we still cannot provide engineering cost estimates, considerable variability remains in future cost estimates. As reported in Holdings’ Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ending September 30, 2011, the projected costs of the remaining remediation at these sites are estimated to be $39-101 million.

  • APPLIED MATERIALS INC /DE | Form 8-K/A | 11/16/2011

VAI has been named by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and third parties as a potentially responsible party under the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, at eight sites where VAI is alleged to have shipped manufacturing waste for recycling or disposal. VAI is also involved in various stages of environmental investigation and/or remediation under the direction of, or in consultation with, foreign, federal, state and/or local agencies at certain current or former VAI facilities (including facilities disposed of in connection with VAI’s sale of its Electron Devices business during fiscal year 1995, and the sale of its Thin Film Systems business during fiscal year 1997). The Distribution Related Agreements provide that each of VMS, Varian Semiconductor and VI, a wholly owned subsidiary of Agilent Technologies, Inc. as of May 2010, will indemnify the others for one-third of these environmental investigation and remediation costs, as adjusted for any insurance proceeds and tax benefits expected to be realized upon payment of these costs.

For certain of these sites and facilities, various uncertainties make it difficult to assess the likelihood and scope of further investigation or remediation activities or to estimate the future costs of such activities if undertaken. Per the estimates provided by VMS, we have accrued $0.9 million and $1.0 million, respectively, in estimated environmental investigation and remediation costs for these sites and facilities as of fiscal year end 2010 and 2009. As to other sites and facilities, sufficient knowledge has been gained to be able to reasonably estimate the scope and costs of future environmental activities. As such, we have accrued $3.8 million and $4.0 million, respectively, as of fiscal year end 2010 and 2009, which represents future costs discounted at 7%, net of inflation, to cover our portion of these costs. This reserve is in addition to the $0.9 million and $1.0 million, respectively, as of fiscal year end 2010 and 2009, as previously described.

The Company was named as one of approximately ninety defendants in a contribution suit brought by CCL/Unilever relating to the J.M. Mills Landfill Site (the “Site”), which is part of the Peterson/Puritan Superfund Site in Cumberland, Rhode Island. These complaints alleged that the Company was liable under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA”) for contribution for Site investigation costs. In 2010, the Company reached settlement of the case and paid a settlement amount of approximately $0.2 million.

The Company expects that the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) will select a remedy for the Site in 2011. At that time, the EPA will initiate an administrative process (the “Special Notice Process”) pursuant to CERCLA whereby the EPA will request that those entities that the EPA contends arranged for the disposal of hazardous materials at the Site (the PRPs), undertake the selected remedy at the Site. The EPA contends that the Company is a PRP at the Site. During the Special Notice Process, the Company and the other PRPs will engage in negotiations with the EPA regarding the remedy, and among themselves regarding the contribution of each PRP to overall remediation costs. Neither the cost of the remedy nor the identity of all PRPs is known at this time. Therefore it is not possible to assess the outcome of the Special Notice Process as it may relate to the Company’s contribution to remediation costs.

  • HANDY & HARMAN LTD. | Form 8-K | 11/15/2011

H&H received a notice letter from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) in August 2006 formally naming H&H as a PRP at a superfund site in Massachusetts (the “Superfund site”). H&H is part of a group of thirteen (13) other PRPs (the “PRP Group”) to work cooperatively regarding remediation of the Superfund site. H&H executed a participation agreement, consent decree and settlement trust on June 13, 2008 and all of the other PRP’s have signed as well. In December 2008, the EPA lodged the consent decree with the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts and the consent decree was entered, after no comments were received during the thirty-day comment period on January 27, 2009. With the entry and filing of the consent decree, H&H was required to make two payments in 2009: one payment of $0.2 million relating to the “true-up” of monies previously expended for remediation and a payment of $0.3 million for H&H’s share of the early action items for the remediation project. In addition, on March 11, 2009, WHX executed a financial guaranty of H&H’s obligations in connection with the Superfund site. The PRP Group has both chemical and radiological PRPs. H&H is a chemical PRP; not a radiological PRP. The remediation of radiological contamination at the site, under the direction of the Department of Energy (“DOE”), has begun but is not expected to be completed until the Fall of 2011 at the earliest, and it may be delayed even further due to inadequate funding in the federal program financing the DOE work. Additional financial contributions will be required by the PRP Group when it starts its work upon completion of the DOE’s radiological remediation work. H&H has recorded a significant liability in connection with this matter. There can be no assurance that the resolution of this matter will not be material to the financial position, results of operations and cash flow of H&H.

  • American Midstream Partners, LP | Form 10-Q | 11/14/2011

Bazor Ridge Emissions Matter

 In July 2011, in the course of preparing our annual filing for 2010 with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (“MDEQ”) as required by our Title V Air Permit, we determined that we underreported to MDEQ the SO2 emissions from the Bazor Ridge plant for 2009 and 2010. Moreover, we recently discovered that SO2 emission levels during 2009 may have exceeded the threshold that triggers the need for a Prevention of Significant Deterioration, or a PSD, permit under the federal Clean Air Act. No PSD permit has been issued for the Bazor Ridge plant. In addition, we recently determined that certain SO2 emissions during 2009 and 2010 exceeded the reportable quantity threshold under the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, or EPCRA, requiring notification of various governmental authorities. We did not make any such EPCRA notifications. In July 2011, we self-reported these issues to the MDEQ and the EPA.

 If the MDEQ or the EPA were to initiate enforcement proceedings with respect to these exceedances and violations, we could be subject to monetary sanctions and our Bazor Ridge plant could become subject to restrictions or limitations (including the possibility of installing additional emission controls) on its operations or be required to obtain a PSD permit or to amend its current Title V Air Permit. If the Bazor Ridge plant were subject to any curtailment or other operational restrictions as a result of any such enforcement proceeding, or were required to incur additional capital expenditures for additional emission controls through any permitting process, the costs to us could be material. Although enforcement proceedings are reasonably possible, we cannot estimate the financial impact on us from such enforcement proceedings until we have completed an investigation of these matters and met with the agencies to determine treatment, extent, and reportability any of exceedances and violations. As a result, we have not recorded a loss contingency as the criteria under ASC 450, Contingencies has not been met.

 In addition, if emission levels for our Bazor Ridge plant were not properly reported by the prior owner or if a PSD permit was required for periods before our acquisition, it is possible, though not probable at this time, that one or both of the MDEQ and the EPA may institute enforcement actions against us and/or the prior owner. If one or both of the MDEQ and the EPA pursue enforcement actions or other sanctions against the prior owner, we may have an obligation under our purchase agreement with the prior owner to indemnify them for any losses (as defined in the purchase agreement) that may result. Because the existence and extent of any violations is unknown at this time, the financial impact of any amounts due regulatory agencies and/or the prior owner cannot be reasonably estimated at this time.

 We are in communication with regulatory officials at both the MDEQ and the EPA regarding the Bazor Ridge plant reporting issue.

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